Cascading Waters can be found at 135 Olean Street on the eastern edge of Worcester's northwest parklands, the Cascades. The Cascades are 350 acres of park and conservation lands along the borders of Worcester, Paxton, and Holden, Massachusetts. Home to countless species of plants and animals, the Cascades are open to passive recreation year-round.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Setting out the birdfeeder

As the migrating birds have migrated by now (those that are still migrating; we've got a family of Canada geese on Cook's Pond that find life here in Worcester too plush to leave!) and the bears should be slowing down, we've now put out our birdfeeder. We usually get a good number of chickadees, nuthatches, and sparrows, but we'll let you know if we see anything special.

At 9 am, it is 33 degrees and rising
80% humidity and steady
30.06 inches of mercury and rising
Nice clear day
The fire danger stands at LOW

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


(no, not here! But did anyone else see the cars coming down Pleasant Street this morning with a dusting on their windshields? It looks like Paxton had some of that precipitation as snow yesterday!)

At 9am, it is a chilly 37 degrees and (here's the real kicker) steady
69% humidity and falling as the wind is drying it all out
Barometer stands at 29.47 inches of mercury and rising as the storm leaves
Fire danger is back down to NONE
The brook is rushing among the leaves this morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rainy day

As of 9 am today, we had already had 0.08 inches of rain. This will keep the falls going!

It is 46 degrees and steady.
96% humidity, steady, and raining
Barometer stands at 29.44 inches of mercury and falling

Fire danger is down to LOW

We just had two determined cross country runners go through!
Rainfall is up to 0.16

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week of Halloween

At 9:13, it is 48 degrees and rising
95% humidity and steady
The barometer stands at 29.88 inches and steady

Over the weekend, we had an inch and a half of rain! That not only brought the fire danger back down to NONE, it also means the falls are running. Come see!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Falling leaves

For those of you interested, you can find the US fall foliage map online.

The leaves are really coming down out there today. It's as if it is raining. Still there are plenty of maples that have yet to turn.

At 9am, it is 40 degrees and rising.
71% humidity and falling.
The barometer is 30.39 inches and steady; high skies!
Fire danger is back down to LOW from that rain we had earlier this week.

Great day to get out there! We're seeing some activity on the trail already today.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


At 9 am, it is 37 degrees and COLD!
Humidity is 79% and steady...all that rain on all those leaves
The barometer stands at 30.53 inches and steady

Last night we got 0.04 inches of rain...just measurable.
Wear a hat!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A raw day

I heard this morning that there was a chance of snow. We appear to have missed that, but, boy, it is not pleasant out there! That does not seem to have slowed down the two bikers who just went through, however.

The rain has not been enough to measure so far
At 9:10, it is 42 degrees and steady
84% humidity
The barometer stands at 29.97 inches of mercury
Fire danger continues at MEDIUM
The Cascades are trickling.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

More trees

We put in some blue spruce along the southern bound of Cascading Waters today, mostly to block off the line-of-sight between the Lodge and the new development (slowly) going in next door.

Report from the Junior Ranger:
40 degrees F and rising
86 % humidity and steady
29.83 and steady
At 8:52 am
Cold, brook running a little bit.

And from today:
Down from the sky come leaves in all colors:
Red, yellow, and brown
Some have holes and some do not.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy night at Cascading Waters

We were awoken in the middle of the night last night by a constant trilling cry. At first it seemed to be coming down from the waterfall, then it was closer, then in the front of the house. Over and over and over again. Was it an owl? Some animal that was hurt?
We pulled open the shade to look out at the front lawn to find a dark shadow by the benches, not far from the front door. As we pulled open the window, it took off across the lawn towards the trail, clearly (from its shape and movement) a coyote.
Which still left us with some sort of keening noise outside, now rustling through the leaves over to the van, and hiding there.
Entering from the right, around the house, came a BIG raccoon. It rustled through the leaves, over to the driveway, and met up, with many happy snuffling noises, with whatever was under the van.
This was soon revealed, as the big raccoon went back by the front of the house, to be a baby raccoon, following close behind its mom (?).

It had somehow gotten separated from its parent by the coyote, hid under the house, crying all the while, ran for the van when the coyote left, and then the parent tracked it back down.
It's like Mutual of Omaha out here!

We also had our first frost last night!

At 9 am, it is 40 degrees and rising
65% humidity and falling
30.12 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is up to MEDIUM

Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting chillier

You'll want a sweater if you head out on the trails this morning. It's refreshing, but surprising!

At 9:05 it is 47 degrees and rising
78% humidity and steady
29.97 inches of mercury and steady
a light wind under sunny skies
Fire danger is LOW across Massachusetts to the Berkshires now.

Yesterday's rain was so little as to not register on our meter; I'm not sure how much rain we have to have for it to count.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Get your hike in now!

Looks like the rain is mostly passing to the north, but just in case...

The leaves are really coming down today in this wind; at the Lodge, it's raining golden leaves right now.

At 9 am, it is 57 degrees and rising
98% humidity and steady
29.85 inches of mercury and steady
Fire danger is LOW

It is windy and cool. The brook is running.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beautiful fall light

The light here at the Lodge is changing. With so many leaves that are yellow, the light that's coming through is golden.

At 9am, it is 54 degrees and steady
84% humidity and falling
Barometer stands at 30.06 inches under clear skies
The brook is running.

Looks like we'll be having a pack of Cub Scouts coming through for a hike on Saturday morning!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looking for clues

Okay, neighbors! We need some help (and it doesn't involve sweat or mud this time).

We're doing some work here at the Lodge, and among the projects is opening up the top of the big stone fireplace in the living room (which was the original building, back when it was a summer cabin). It's been covered with wallboard, but we've discovered that it's stone all the way up, and we'd rather look at that. When we ripped off the wallboard this weekend, here's what we found:

Anyone out there got a story on "9-48"? We're assuming it's a date, maybe the date the fireplace was put in (the cabin itself is older), but we're open to interpretations!

The mice are heading in

We came out this morning to find that the mice think that winter are coming, and hope to hibernate inside. One was swimming in our iced tea pitcher!

(We brought him outside, where he cleaned off his paws and headed for what we hope will be winter quarters in the stone wall.)

It was a very busy weekend for hikers! We had cars in and out of the parking lot all day every day (kudos to those who pulled over enough to make space for multiple cars), and we saw lots of people coming through.

At 9 am, it is 53 degrees and rising under cloudy skies
93% humidity and steady
The barometer stands at 30.21 inches and is steady
There is NO fire danger for central Massachusetts

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rain clearing out

This morning (it all fell after midnight), we had 0.08 inches of rain, which is enough to give everything a good dousing and put the fire danger back over to NONE.
This is also giving the Cascades and the brook a boost!

At 10 am, it is 58 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady (we'll see; when the sun comes out a bit more that will change)
Barometer stands at 29.83 inches and steady

The clouds are moving out and we're seeing a bit of sun now.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Fire danger is UP

According to the U.S. Forestry Service, the fire danger in central Massachusetts is up to MEDIUM. A look at the humidity here this morning will tell you why:

At 10 am, it is 48 degrees and rising.
63% humidity and steady (by 10, it's usually still up in the high eighties at least)
Barometer stands at 30.18 inches.
The skies are clear, and the brook is running.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chilly mornings

While we haven't had a hard frost here yet, we are getting close to freezing most nights now.

At 9 am, it is 46 degrees and steady
96% humidity and steady ('though the sun has not yet cleared the trees)
30.18 inches of mercury and rising; the skies here are clear
Fire danger is LOW

Cascades are running

Friday, October 03, 2008

More hikers!

We have the WISE group coming this morning with Mass Audubon for a hike in the Cascades. They've got lovely weather for it!

At 9:30 am, it is 52 degrees and rising
79% humidity and falling
Barometer steady at 29.71 inches
Yesterday we had 0.43 inches of rain
Fire danger is LOW
The Cascades are running well

The beech and chesnut trees are just starting to turn. The maples, except for a few more spectacular examples along the road, are here struggling with any color at all: they've turned yellow with brown spots, and are the leaves are curling at the edges. Anyone know what's up with that? Too much rain?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Nice morning for a hike!

And so we had six West Tatnuck students set off from the Newton Trailhead this morning at 8am, and, barring a bit of mud and one wet foot, all made it safely up the hill and across the stream(s), through the poison ivy, to the playground for 8:30. Let's plan on doing that again!

And so we're late with posting today...
at 11 am, it is 57 degrees and rising
73% humidity and falling, due to a brisk wind
Barometer stands at 29.41 inches
Fire danger is LOW
The Cascades are great!

Trail conditions are a bit muddy, but it's largely avoidable (no thanks to ATV's; yes, we're working on that).

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

International Walk to School Month

In honor of International Walk to School month, a group of Olean Street area kids and parents are walking to West Tatnuck tomorrow through Cascades Park.
If you'd like to join us, meet at the Newton Trailhead at 8 am. We'll be following the Newton Trail to the Cascades Trail to the West Tatnuck Trail.
Wear your sneakers!

Rain for October

Sorry for the late post today. Worcester Magazine is running a piece on ALB this week, and a tour of a GWLT parcel for photos was necessary. Yes, in the rain!

At 9 am, it was 59 degrees and steady
98% humidity and steady (and raining)
29.62 inches of mercury and steady
As of 9 am, we'd had 0.12 inches of rain since midnight
Yesterday, we had a total of 0.28 inches.

UPDATE: at noon, we now have had 0.43 inches. That's almost half an inch in twelve hours.

YES, the Cascades are running!